Ecumenical Patriarch Praises Vatican II

As mentioned in today’s Page One post, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople addressed Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops and faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square today. Above is a video report by Rome Reports.

The patriarch praised Vatican II and the efforts that followed:

Fifty years ago in this very square, a powerful and pivotal celebration captured the heart and mind of the Roman Catholic Church, transporting it across the centuries into the contemporary world. This transforming milestone, the opening of the Second Vatican Council, was inspired by the fundamental reality that the Son and incarnate Logos of God is “where two or three are gathered in his name,” (Matt. 18.20) and that the Spirit, who proceeds from the Father, “will guide us into the whole truth.” (John 16.13). …

Over the last five decades, the achievements of this assembly have been diverse as evidenced through the series of important and influential constitutions, declarations and decrees. We have contemplated the renewal of the spirit and “return to the sources” through liturgical study, biblical research and patristic scholarship. We have appreciated the struggle toward gradual liberation from the limitation of rigid scholasticism to the openness of ecumenical encounter, which has led to the mutual rescinding of the excommunications of the year 1054, the exchange of greetings, returning of relics, entering into important dialogues and visiting each other in our respective Sees. …

As we move forward together, we offer thanks and glory to the living God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — that the same assembly of bishops has recognised the importance of reflection and sincere dialogue between our “sister churches”. We join in the “hope that the barrier dividing the Eastern Church and the Western Church will be removed, and that — at last — there may be but the one dwelling, firmly established on Christ Jesus, the cornerstone, who will make both one” (“Unitatis Redintegratio” §18).

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